Brandon Hantz launches into epic meltdown on 'Survivor: Caramoan'
Former "Survivor: Caramoan" contestant Brandon Hantz may be unstable and volatile, but he's also predictable.
Sabotaging his tribe was something he considered well before the game began, telling reporters about his plans to one-up his infamous uncle Russell Hantz's sock burning by messing with his fellow castaways' food supply.
Maybe everyone should be grateful his outburst was limited to dumping out his fellow Favorites' rice and beans? After all, he also threatened to burn down their shelter several episodes ago.
At first, no one really took his threats that seriously. Sure, his volatility and wild mood swings were a concern, but his tribemates were initially most concerned about how it would affect the competition and camp morale. By the end of Wednesday's episode, some might have worried about their own safety.
At the beginning of this week's episode, he told his tribe he wanted to quit the game and volunteered to be voted out at the next Tribal Council because he desperately missed his wife and "two precious babies."
But the next morning, he predictably changed his mind: He wanted to stay to do right by his family.
Unfortunately, instead of celebrating his tribe's Reward Challenge prize, he became upset when Phillip took credit for the win. (In fact, both of them did an amazing job, but Brandon, targeted first by his opponents, let go of his ever-growing net of coconuts while Phillip held on for the win.)
As Malcolm pointed out, "Phillip caught Brandon in one of his downward (mood) swings" when the younger man-child confronted the Specialist about his dictatorship.
When Brandon got wind of Phillip's proposal to throw the Immunity Challenge to rid the tribe of Brandon's toxicity, he finally let loose. "Here's a reason to vote me out," he said as he scattered his horrified tribemates' food supply across the beach.
Only the Fans tribe was surprised that the Immunity Challenge would never take place. Instead, Jeff Probst gave Brandon permission to address his tribe, wisely asking the angry young man to stand beside him on the "neutral" mat.
While Jeff simultaneously restrained him and massaged his shoulders, Brandon unleashed his fury on his tribe and Phillip. For a terrifying moment -- when Phillip mentioned his children -- it seemed like Jeff's gentle touch would not be enough to prevent Brandon from physically attacking his opponent.
In the end, Jeff might have just earned another Emmy by instructing the Favorites to vote on the spot rather than waiting for Tribal Council. Unsurprisingly, Bikal's decision to send home Brandon was unanimous (Brandon of course voted for Phillip), and he walked away without a ceremonial torch-snuffing.
It was an agonizing episode to watch, with only Reynold's wide-eyed, slack-jawed reaction providing the only comic relief. (If Reynold is voted out -- which may not happen, considering he found the second Immunity Idol hours after playing the first one -- he might be the game's most entertaining jury member.)
As for Brandon, he's responsible for one of the darkest chapters in "Survivor" history.
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